Some time between waiting for his appearance on The Colbert Report and fighting off math-hating haters, New York Times future predictor Nate Silver went all in on Obama Monday night. No ace up the sleeve. No jack in the hole. Just cold hard statistics. "A few more polls to add. But Obama at 91% to win Electoral College based on today's data so far," tweeted Silver, apparently just a few minutes after leaving Colbert's studio. A few minutes later, Silver adjusted the numbers up, giving Obama a 92.2. percent chance of winning. That's a solid difference from his last prediction which gave Obama an 86 percent chance of winning. A few minutes later, he added, "Obama gained an average of 1.5 points between 12 national polls published today. Big sample sizes. That's a pretty big deal."
Decide for yourself how seriously you want to treat Silver's latest prediction. And be comforted by the fact that you'll know whether it's correct or not in a matter of hours. Because on Tuesday, the nation will go to the polls, people will vote for Obama or Romney, those votes will be tallied and Nate Silver will be proven right or wrong. But don't ever accuse Nate Silver of being timid in the face of criticism. Because as much as critics have cornered Silver these past few days, the data wizard has only become more sure of his analysis.
Naysayers aside, there's no reason Nate Silver shouldn't be sure of himself. As Reuters' Anthony De Rosa pointed out later on Monday night, Silver correctly predicted the winner of 49 out of 50 states in the 2008 election, and he nailed all 35 Senate races. In 2010, Silver correctly predicted the outcomes of 34 out of 36 midterm elections. That's a ridiculous success rate. In conclusion, Barack Obama will probably win the election, and Nate Silver should fight crime.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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